Throw-Down Thursday: What to Do in the Garden This Weekend

May 8, 2014 | By | Comments (2)
Throw-Down Thursday

Design: Linda Hostetler, The Plains, VA. Photo: Steve Bender

“Breaking Bad” has run its course, you’ve binge-watched “Game of Thrones” until you know all of the characters and forgotten your kids, and you’re seriously considering saying “no” to the dress. These are all signs that you need to work in your garden this weekend. The following timely tasks will get you back on course.

Plant Summer Annuals
Don’t wait until hot weather to buy and plant your summer flowers. There are two reasons. First, you want your plants to grow lots of roots before the weather gets really hot. Second, if you wait to long to buy, you’ll have to settle for the picked-overs.

Fertilize Your Lawn
Now when the grass is actively growing, it’s hungry and needs to be fed. Choose either an organic or synthetic lawn fertilizer labeled for your type of grass and carefully apply it so that granules aren’t flying into the street, sidewalk, driveway, or planting beds.

Prune Trees and Shrubs That Have Already Flowered
The best time to prune plants that bloom on last year’s growth (azalea, forsythia, lilac, bridalwreath, etc.) is immediately after they finish blooming. If you wait until summer or fall, you’ll cut off all of the flower buds for next year.

Mulch Your Beds
Once you’ve planted your garden, spread a layer of mulch around your plants. You can use pine straw, shredded hardwood, pine bark, cypress bark — whatever is available — but PLEASE DON’T PUT DOWN THAT UGLY RED MULCH that’s made from dyed scrap wood that may contain chemicals. Good mulch cools the soil, keeps it moist, reduces erosion, and deters weeds. As it breaks down, it adds organic matter to the soil.

Check Your Sprinkler System
Grumpy hates sprinklers systems, because they use too much water and people set them on “automatic,” so that they water in the middle of hurricanes. But if you already have one, turn it on in the daylight to see that it’s working properly. Make sure the heads shoot water where they’re supposed to, the timer works properly, and you don’t have any leaks.


  1. Steve Bender

    We’re in a flash flood watch. Sorry, Texas and California!

    May 10, 2014 at 9:31 am
  2. Jeannie

    Love your intro paragraph! Funny. I just came in from the yard I’m trying to reseed the lawn due to our drought and extreme summer temps last year. Thank goodness we are getting some rain today!

    May 8, 2014 at 10:43 am

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s